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James: Villa's Carson will prove good enough

Portsmouth goalkeeper David James says Aston Villa's Scott Carson will prove himself at international level.

"Long term, I'm telling you, Scott Carson will be a top international goalkeeper but you need experience," James told the Daily Mail. "The last time I'd been picked before Mr Capello was the two games in America, almost three years before the Switzerland game.

"Until Scott's debut there had only ever been one other change in goalkeeper. Ben Foster against Spain.

"Ask any player and they'll tell you that they need to play and to be used to what that entails. If you're due to be in the team, you'll prepare differently.

"Let me try to explain. I am not saying that you need practice to sing the national anthem but when I play for Portsmouth the immediate pre-match ritual will involve shaking hands with the opposition and that's it.

"In an international game, there's the anthem, a team picture. It's different. Small things and it's hard to explain but they're minor distractions. Some don't like it, some s*** themselves, others don't."

What does frustrate him are the doubts that English keepers are good enough.

"We really do have good talent," he insisted. "Joe Hart, for instance, is aggressive, confident and he's done very well. I don't mean to put a spanner in the works, but because of the nature of the job he'll make a mistake and it's how you react to mistakes and the negativity that can follow.

"There is a scrutiny and a high expectation surrounding the English goalkeepers whenever we play. Mistakes - or perceived mistakes - are made, the attention is created and judgment is made by people who might not necessarily know.

"There are always comparisons with Ray Clemence and Shilton, who were good goalkeepers - or supposedly good. I don't mean that in a derogatory way but I just didn't see enough of them to pass judgment. People talk about Gordon Banks but I have only really ever seen one save.

"Chances for English goalkeepers are difficult in the modern game but not impossible. Is the coaching right? I was lucky at Watford. I was enthusiastic and I had enthusiastic people working with me.

"It's a specialist position but is there enough specialist coaching? I can't speak for every coach but it's easy just to stick a kid in goal and get him saving a few shots, saying well done and consider that is enough work for him. It's not.

"Or you might look at someone who can catch and then say, 'he'll make a good goalkeeper', but it's not as easy as that."

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Tribal Football Staff

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